News a man has been taken into custody marks the third person arrested for exposing a young child to methamphetamine at a residence in Effingham.

Authorities with Sheriff Jack Laurie’s office arrested Chad Michael Starling, 37, of Effingham, at about 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, according to a sheriff’s office report. The arrest of Chad Starling arose from a search warrant executed Sept. 14 at 708 George St. in Effingham, according to Undersheriff Toby Smith in a news release.

As a result of the same warrant, Chad Starling’s 64-year-old mother, Mary E. Starling and his girlfriend, Tammy R. Ellis, 42, have also been arrested. Like his mother and girlfriend, authorities arrested Chad Starling in connection with aggravated child endangerment, aggravated battery and possession of methamphetamine, all felonies. Chad Starling is also suspected of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Smith said Chad Starling has been sought in the case, but authorities didn’t locate him at the time of the other arrests. Deputies spotted him on Thursday inside a vehicle and proceeded to arrest him. A new possession of methamphetamine charge is linked, Smith said, to the discovery of the drug during Starling’s Thursday arrest.

Chad Starling heard the first batch of charges filed against him Friday morning in district court. Kevin Reardon, a Leavenworth-based attorney, has been appointed to serve as defense counsel for Chad Starling. The next court appointment is set for the 9 a.m. criminal docket Friday, Nov. 16, in district court. Starling is to be confined at the county jail pending fulfillment of a $10,000 supervised bond agreement.

Mary Starling waived her right to hear the evidence against her on Nov. 1 and has been found guilty by way of a no-contest plea to the felony counts of aggravated child endangerment and possession of meth, both felonies. She also has been convicted of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The court dismissed one count of felony aggravated battery in her case.

Ellis has also been convicted by way of her plea Nov. 7 for aggravated child endangerment and possession of meth, both felonies, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both women remain confined at the county jail and are tentatively scheduled for sentencing at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, in district court.

Mary Meyers can be reached


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